Love is a many-splendored thing, and when the imaginary becomes reality, it’s magical on “Smooth,” the latest single by Felix Mongeon, who goes by the name Radiant Baby. “‘Smooth’ most naively addresses the theme of fantasy,” says Mongeon of the track, off his upcoming second release Pantomime (Lisbon Lux), out Sept. 24. “The lyrics describe a moment of love at first sight. The protagonist is in perfect harmony with her feeling of love.”
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Featuring singer and artist Ohara Hale on vocals, “Smooth” is the one song the artist gravitated towards most after Mongeon sent her several tracks during the lockdown in 2020.
Sweetly dancing around a starry-eyed love with You’ve got smooth moves and soft eyes / And your laughter is bright / I’m way on the outside but I’m moving to your side / Baby I’m feeling high but the reason is right / Your smooth moves in the moonlight / Got me all turning inside, “Smooth” is perfectly scored for when the stars align, in love.
“As soon as I heard the track for ‘Smooth’ my heart jumped for joy,” says Hale. “I love this kind of music and I had an instant song in my head. I always know it’s good when it comes instantly. I got out my microphone and recorded the song that began to flow out—the words poured out effortlessly as I saw a story unfold in my mind, heart and I stayed up all night getting the vocal melody just right so that I had a good first take of the song.”
Following single “The Dream,” a more melodramatic take on facing reality versus wanting a magical moment to last forever, the subject of “Smooth” is outside of a party before they finally make their way in to meet their “love.” Stuck on the chorus, Mongeon and Hale decided on writing it in French, giving the track a Francophile flair.
For the Montreal-born artist, Mongeon, who released his first EP It’s My Party in 2017, following his full-length debut, Restless, a year later, Pantomime melds the 1970s and modern electronic dance roots throughout more illusory lyrics.
Visually, “Smooth” was initially set to be a video collage of Instagram-filtered selfie videos since the two artists were working remotely on the track. After connecting with photographer and videographer Carsten Fleck, who used footage of Hale at a party, it tied into the original narrative of the song.
The song stuck in her head, Hale admits singing “Smooth” for months wherever she went. “I just felt so connected to it and to the story but it was also a song that brought me stability and joy during all the chaos of 2020 too as something to look forward to developing and releasing,” she says. “The story is about seeing someone with a beautiful soul at a party and wanting to be closer to them, knowing you would grow closer to them by your own soul growth, too. Smooth moves, soft eyes, bright laughter—these are all attractive qualities, a happy, confident, joyful person with a good sense of humor.”